226955 Youth leaders promote social justice and equality in sexual and reproductive health

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Esther Tahrir, MPH , International Health Programs, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Denise Dunning, PHD/MPA/MA , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Josie Ramos, MA , International Health Programs, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
From 2006-2009, International Health Programs of the Public Health Institute increased the knowledge, commitment, and competency of 58 Spanish-speaking youth leaders working to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo, Mexico through the implementation of the Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJOven). The program focuses on training youth leaders from ethnic, cultural and sexually diverse communities during a year-long Fellowship program in order to advance acceptance, equity and social justice throughout Mesoamerica. Program Fellows are leaders of their own learning processes, participating in a mix of experiential and classroom-based training exercises and benefiting from intercultural exchange with their peers. The curriculum includes a series of themes that fall into three principal categories: sexual and reproductive health and rights, leadership, and program planning and management. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation data indicates that program Fellows experienced increased leadership and knowledge and competencies in ASRH, improved awareness and attitude towards SRH and are activity implementing ASRH projects in their communities. Specifically, Fellows reported that GOJoven significantly increased their ability to value diversity, take personal and professional risks, self-reflect, build their self-esteem, think critically and strategically, and design and manage projects. Fellows are now more able and committed to improving sexual health and well-being for the most disadvantaged youth in their communities. Training diverse youth to improve the sexual and reproductive health of their younger peers can effectively promote social justice and equality.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the value of youth leadership development in sexual and reproductive health to improving social justice and equity. List key components of a youth leadership development program. Explain the importance of including culturally, ethnically and sexually diverse youth in leadership development programs.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Leadership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the youth leadership in sexual and reproductive health program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.